Lauren Duncan received a doctorate in personality psychology and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Southern California.
She is currently working with Smith students to understand why some people become politically active whereas others remain inactive. Some recent projects include the development of measures of group consciousness or politicized group identities—specifically feminist consciousness and queer consciousness. She is also working on a psychobiography of Gloria Steinem to try to explain how she became a feminist icon. Most recently, she has been collecting and translating oral histories of Italian feminist and queer activists in Italy.
Students who want to get involved in Duncan’s research should first take a class with her and should have taken Research Methods.
Duncan’s research interests are based on the following questions:
- What motivates some people to want to change society whereas others want to keep it the same?
- What motivates some people interested in political and social issues to act on their beliefs?
For those interested in pursuing similar professional goals, or in conducting similar lines of research, Duncan recommends the following websites for additional information: